Want to make your developers stick around longer? This one change could do it

A survey of 15,000 developers finds that software pros want flexibility over how they work.

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Remote working allows organizations to hire skilled workers from overseas.

Image: SeanZeroThree/iStock

Remote working is allowing organizations to tap into a deeper pool of tech talent – but also raises their prospects of losing skilled software developers if companies don't offer it.

A poll of more than 15,000 developers by developer recruitment platform CodinGame platform found 95% would embrace a 'hybrid' working model that allowed them to split their time between the office and their home.

With developers currently in high demand against a backdrop of rapid digitization, offering 100% remote working would allow companies to recruit developers based overseas and who aren't interested in relocating, CodinGame said.

However, the growth of remote-working opportunities also puts organizations at risk of losing homegrown talent if companies don't offer it.

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Aude Barral, co-founder of CodinGame, said companies were likely to feel pressure to adopt flexible-working opportunities in order to attract and retain talented tech workers.

"That is clearly the case when it comes to hiring and retaining tech talent. With the majority of those developers we polled preferring to have the option of being able to work remotely part of the week, companies may struggle to attract and hold onto the best developers if they don't offer flexible working," said Barral.

Research from CodinGame in January highlighted the difficulties businesses could face hiring software professionals as demand for tech skills skyrockets.

In its survey, 61% of HR professionals said finding qualified developers would present their biggest recruitment challenge of 2021.

The increased demand for IT skillsets also means technology professionals can be pickier about where and how they work, with data from Harvey Nash's 2021 Tech Survey finding that technology professionals now rank location and remote-working opportunities among the top three most important job incentives.

Yet data also shows that employees aren't willing to give up their desks entirely. Just under half (43%) of respondents said the "winning formula" for hybrid working would be working remotely 2-3 days per week, and working from the office the rest of the time. Only 23% of developers said they would want to work remotely full-time, suggesting that most are eager to hold onto the social aspects of office culture and the collaborative benefits of working as a team on-site.

CodinGame also asked tech recruiters if developers would be offered remote working as an option and the majority said they would.

Just over half (53%) of recruiters said they already offered flexible-working options, while nearly half said 100% remote working would be considered if requested.

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Barral said companies should consider the rise of remote working as an opportunity to address the tech talent shortage in the UK, which could worsen as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and disenchanted employees begin seeking new opportunities .

"This strategy requires them to equip themselves with the appropriate remote recruitment tools to identify the right developer profiles," said Barral.

"With high demand for skilled and experienced developers, having the infrastructure in place to manage a remote team could allow companies to tap into a much deeper pool of tech talent and hire developers based overseas to fill key positions."

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